Champions League Quarterfinal Referees: Tuesday April 1
We’re in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, which means shit gets real for both the teams and the referees.
From this point on, I’d be surprised to see an “outlier” amongst the Champions League referees. I think you’ll see the best of the best: The men who are not only at the top of their UEFA form, but are on the list for Brazil, as well. Tuesday’s appointments bear that out.
Germany’s Felix Brych, who refereed Chelsea v. Galatasaray on March 18, is back for what could be the most exciting game of the quarterfinals: Barcelona v. Atletico Madrid. They are second and first in La Liga, respectively, so this has the potential to be a showpiece. Brych is up for it, though. He’s been consistently fantastic, and he didn’t put a foot out of line in his earlier outing.
Also, that’s Dr. Felix Brych to you. (He’s got a doctorate in law.)
When Manchester United
gets trounced by hosts the champions, Bayern, they’ll have Spain’s Carlos Velasco Carballo (above). Velasco is still arguably the top man in Spain, and will be at the World Cup, though I rate Alberto Undiano Mallenco more highly. Velasco Carballo is a solid, calm referee, though, and a good choice.
Remember, we only hear the Champions League referee appointments about 48 hours before the match, partly to protect the referees. So, we’ll get the appointments for the second set of matches (Real Madrid v. Dortmund and PSG v. Chelsea) sometime late tonight or tomorrow (depending on your time zone).